Brief thoughts on Freud and the Ego-Ideal

I slept all day.  Bugger.  The radio was set to the public radio station and when the alarm went off it was on a show that had a man talking about Matisse paintings.  I enjoyed it in my lucid sleep state… and woke up two hours later. 

I cleaned the apartment, which sorely needed it, and the place has tons of cat toys, balls, and mice all over the place.  Needing for food or toys or a lap my two cats are not.

I am reading from a book, “The Basic Writings of C.G. Jung” and came to his brief explanation of the Freudian unconcious.  I remember my days of reading Freud at U.A.M., walking around in the countryside, book up, reading and enjoying Nature as I did.  I wrote a pretty good paper on Freud at the time, if memory serves me correctly.  However, as I read Jung’s quick assessment on the finite aspects of a Freudian unconscious, I am struck by a thought.

Basically how it goes is this.  The unconsciouss has two urges in it, the Libido and Thanatos.  The Ego develops some time after the Id is created.  I regress, the Id is the unconscious energy fountain, if you will, of our urges.  We are born with urges and a natural tendency to move to pleasure and away from pain.  Makes sense.  We begin to develop an understanding of self… of an “I” and this I begins to see itself in relation to the world, becomes “self aware”.  This Ego is fueled by urges and it attempts to find out means of satisfying those urges.  We want food or to be held and we cry.  Mother comes in and makes all well.  We learn strategies for satisfying our urges.  Trauma comes from intances when we have suffered from an inability to satisfy a need, or to get away from something unpleasant.  To say that a kid is “scarred for life” is a Freudian notion.

There are other aspects to be sure, and stages of development and what not.  But this isn’t what I am interested in right now.  The Ego-Ideal, also known as the Super Ego, is largely given to us by our parents and/or the society around us.  We want to go naked because it is hot outside and the cool air feels good on our skin.  We are told that this isn’t the polite thing to do.  The Ego copes by implementing a strategy.  Wear clothes, use the AC, etc…

Now, onto the question that came to mind when Jung mentioned Freud.  I do not recall in any of the psychology classes I’ve taken, nor any discussion that I’ve had with others, the notion of changing the Ego-Ideal.  All the attention is given to the Id and the Ego and to the many defenses of denial and transference and what not.  Yet where is the discussion on the Ego-Ideal?  Did I miss these? Were they glossed over?  Why can’t we go around naked if it is a hot day?  I don’t see any reason why not.  Save that for this current time our society is skewed in such directions as to make such a thing dangerous.  While it might be natural and okay, we have entirely too much psychological baggage placed on many things, too many complexes, so that I would not want either my kids to go naked, nor to be around naked adults.  Unless, and this is a big unless, the area were a community of healthy and balanced individuals.  I think of some pagan communities I’ve had much too brief contact in whereas the human body is seen as natural and the notion of dirty, sin, and whatnot are left for the church lady to deal with.



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